Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My New Favorite Song

Have you seen the movie Kinky Boots? If not, I highly recommend it. Anyway, they use this song in the course of the movie, and then play it during the closing credits. Instantly the movie was over, I was on iTunes downloading Krista MacColl's version (it's also been recorded by Bette Midler). And then I found it on YouTube so I could share it with you! (Pardon the weird Final Fantasy video, it was the best available).

Anyway, I'm home with the flu, my usual Christmastime Ailment; I've been coming down with it for a week or so, and it flared my depression, and my life has been a misery and a burden to me. And just when I thought I'd gotten my Christmas shopping done, I find that I have to buy three more presents because one broke during shipping and one broke in my car and the third was already broken but I didn't read the fine print of the eBay auction before bidding. When I'm going to find the time, sick as I am, I don't know.

But I guess it could be worse. I'm not sure how, but it's usually a safe statement to say that it could be worse. I'm going back to bed now. Toodles!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday, Schmoliday

It's only a few days after Thanksgiving, and I'm already sick to death of Christmas.

I can deal with the decorations in all the stores, but do they have to play Christmas music now? Even the local Classical station, though they have a separate online channel just for Christmas music, has let the stray chorale and little bits of The Nutcracker loose already. It's especially irritating that so many Christmas songs are about snow and cold, while outside it's sunny and warm. Irritating, I tell you!

You have heard (or rather read) me complaining about my family Christmas tradition before (and if you haven't, check the archives to your right), and this year I face it with even more dread than usual. For some reason, the very idea of doing the exact same thing in the exact same place and the exact same way fills me with a sense of loathing that is almost physical. I cringe at the thought of the coming festivities.

Or maybe I'm just cringeing about my birthday. Exactly thirty days from now, I will turn forty. I'm not especially bothered by it, or at least I don't think I am... maybe I'm just supressing it, and it's coming out as a hatred for Christmas. But I've been practicing for forty all year, I should have gotten a handle on it by now.

Either way, I am straining against the desire to run away, to spend the next month holed up in a motel in Pocatello, Idaho.

But I won't, of course. The Grandmother needs my help putting together the family's labor-intensive traditions... cleaning the house, decorating the tree (a hateful epic of its own), helping bake pies and stuffing and yams, it's just endless.

So anyway, what else is going on? I've hit a speed-bump in the novel, I wrote a part of a chapter that I think sucked balls, and though a faithful reader gave me a very helpful critique, I need to expand the chapter considerably... and I'm not sure how. It requires the development of characters who are very vague and shady in my mind, so not only do I have to write the development, I have to develop the characters first.

I've also stopped taking mood-stabilizers. The last one I tried, Abilify, didn't do much of any good; I caught more than my share of side-effects (constipation, akathasia, waking up every two hours all night long, sexual side-effects, and something called urethral resistance syndrome that made it difficult to pee) and wasn't getting over my demophobia or losing weight... it was instead making me sad and logey. My doctor recommended that I try upping my dosage of Prozac to counteract that effect, but all that did was make me incredibly grouchy and unhappy. So I stopped taking the stuff altogether, and I feel a lot better.

I don't know what to do about the issue of manic episodes and preventing their occurrence... my doctor has been singing the praises of using Omega 3 fish oil capsules to help control bipolar disorder, and so I guess I'll try that again... I tried it for a while, and I had the most nasty-tasting burps... fish oil tastes just exactly as bad as you think it would. But nasty burps aren't as bad as constipation, akathasia, poor sleeping patterns, and all the rest. We shall see.

So I guess that's all that's going on in my life these days. I'll let you know if anything exciting happens. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Boring Bore of Boredom

I don't quite know what to do with myself these days. I'm so bored at work that I'm having difficulty functioning. I mean it's nice to have steady work to do, and it's nice that the work isn't too difficult. But it's so barely bearable in its boringness that making myself do the work is sometimes very difficult.

It's all so repetitive and featureless: take the file apart, scan the file, save the scan to the provider's subdirectory, put the file back together, get another file. It's endless and tedious and makes me want to cry sometimes.

I've tried reading the files, but that's not very entertaining. I've tried seeing how many files I can do at once, but after one or two I want to slit my wrists. I listen to music while I'm doing the work, and when a good song comes on I bop around and even dance a little, but that doesn't really help with the central problem.

I have a feeling, however, that my problem is one of acceptance rather than of functionality. I mean, my last job wasn't a thrill a minute, either, but I managed to enjoy it a lot more than this one. I think the problem is that I haven't learned to accept this job at its most basic level, I am resisting it. And that resistance is what I have to overcome. I just don't really know how.

Speaking of which, though, I guess I'd better get to work, since they're paying me and all. Take the file apart, scan the file, save the scan to the provider's subdirectory, put the file back together, get another file. What could be more fun?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

De Moh-NAY!

Am I the only person who watched Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part 1? I put on my Halloween costume on Saturday, and decided that I looked enough like Harvey Korman that I went around all night announcing myself as "Count de Money"... and nobody got it. Was I being too obscure? Were people too dazzled by Caroline's costume to give my self-styling a second thought?

Anyway, here I am as Count de Money (de Moh-NAY), with Caroline as Naughty Marie Antoinette, at the Castro Theater:

And here we are at the Living Sober dance with Anthony the Hot Executioner:

Want to know something? I was embarrassed and uncomfortable all night long. I had a good time, anyway, but if it weren't for Caroline's enjoyment of the attention, I would have called it a night fairly early and gone home. The whole thing of being dressed funny and getting that much attention has made a ding in my psyche that is still reverberating today. My shyness has become completely pathological. I don't like it.

Well, I'll be sporting the Count again tomorrow at work, where no matter how embarrassed I feel, I can't leave. I can always change clothes, of course, but I don't think I'll bring a change with me... one thing about that costume is that it's incredibly comfortable. It's so unconstructed, nothing binds or pinches... which is more than I can say for my usual work-clothes.

Anyway, Happy Halloween my darlings!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

No, Please, No More Chocolate!

Fucking Halloween candy.

Here I am slaving away on the goddamned elliptical machine, suffering through a hundred salads, turning my back on cookies and pastries all over the place and generally starving half the day away, and the pounds continue to linger... rather than fleeing as they should under such torture.

But I'm getting used to counting out how many crackers are 100 calories, and eating apples instead of apple turnovers for snacks, and ordering the four-hundred-calorie turkey (no gravy) and a double order of string beans instead of the chicken pot pie (700 calories, not counting sides and bevo) at Boston Market, and spending my lunch-hour in the gym instead of at the Borders across the street. And the pounds are trickling away, ever so slowly but at least steadily.

So right in the middle of one of my better days, where I'm actually enjoying my spartan tea-time snack of a Clif bar and a few grapes at the Reception desk, here comes the office manager with a big ceramic jack-o-lantern filled with yummy yummy candy... which she then plunks down on the counter right in front of me. Granted, I have to reach around my computer monitor and come halfway out of the chair to get the candy, but that's not the point... the point is, it's there, and all the skinny bitches in the office come by and guilelessly nab a goodie every time they pass the Reception counter.

And that's not the only one. Every breakroom and every conference room and every copy area has a little orange bucket of candy in it. Everywhere I turn, there's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey's Special Dark fun-sized bars (I mention those two because they're my favorites... there are other varieties, as well), smiling and taunting at me... I swear I can smell the chocolate, even though it's individually wrapped for freshness.

Every time I go past one of these little pots of delicious evilness, I struggle to keep myself from diving in head-first and eating the whole thing. A few times I've crumbled and grabbed one object out, and enjoying it so immensely that I have to literally slap my own hand to keep from reaching for another one. It's exhausting, this endless battle against the chocolate.

I tell you, I'm sick to death of dieting. I wanna eat chocolate! I wanna eat white bread! I wanna have an almond bear-claw and a whole-milk Chai latte! I want to eat ice-cream by the quart and wash it down with a whole bottle of Hershey's syrup!

But not until I lose forty more pounds. Or until this Biggest Loser contest is over... I am not throwing away my work so far along with the fifty bucks and however much I'll be fined for any weight-gain, just to indulge my baser food instincts.

I guess I wouldn't mind it so much if I was getting better results from my weight-loss regimen. I've plateaued, I guess, and the weight is coming off at a rate of about a pound and a half a week... rather less than I would like to report at my weekly weigh-in, let me tell you. And I still have this big ol' belly sitting on top of my pants. Oh, and the man-boobs, though smaller, are still there.

What I wouldn't give for a nice round of liposuction, just get rid of it all at once without all this blasted effort. But I can't afford it, so I'll have to stick to the old-fashioned route.

Besides, Halloween will soon be over; by this time next week the candy will be gone... or rather, this time two weeks from now (because you know everybody's going to bring in their leftover trick-or-treat candy the next day, and God knows how long that will last), so the temptation will abate. God preserve me until that day!

So, how's every little thing with you?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Just Dropping In to Say "Hi!"

Things haven't changed since my last post, and I don't have any cosmic insights to share today, so I just thought I'd pop in and post some beefcake just to let you all know I'm still alive.

I'm also working on the novel at a pretty good speed, check out Chapter 10 Part 1, and then check out Part 2 (which I just now finished).


Monday, October 1, 2007


Today I'm starting my new "permanent" position at work... I use quotation marks because, though it's a permanent rather than temporary or interim position, I'm hoping not to be in it for too terribly long. There's nothing wrong with the position itself, of course, only that it doesn't really utilize my skills and it represents a 20% pay cut. I can afford the pay cut, I just have to give up shopping pretty much altogether, but I'd rather have more money than less, strange as that may seem.

So when I go in today, I will spend two hours in the Credentialing department; as far as I know, the bulk of that half of my job will be scanning documents into the database. Wheeee! Fortunately, I'll be able to wear my headphones and so shall be bopping along to the soundtrack from Marie Antoinette, which I downloaded from iTunes the other day.

Then I will be working in the HR department for two hours, first to relieve the receptionist for her break, then to relieve the receptionist for lunch, and finding some kind of yet-to-be-specified work to do in the HR department in between. Then it's lunch, and then back to the Credentialing department for two more hours of scanning, then back to HR for two hours of reception relief and mail-sorting.

It's a nicely structured day, I think, not spending too terribly long at any one task. But it's a return to the business of eight elevator trips a day, which I'd just as soon live without. Either way, though, I'm glad to have a permanent position settled, I've been having horrible anxiety dreams about work ever since my last permanent position evaporated. The pay cut is a small price to pay for no more work-related anxiety dreams.

My meds are balancing out again, too... the akathasia is starting to die down a little bit; though I still find it more pleasant to get up and do something than to sit still, I can sit still if I want to. The constipation I'm getting used to, I just have to take Dulcolax every night, which brings my nighttime pill count up to five (or seven if my allergies are plaguing me).

The best part is that I am not only feeling less demophobic than I did on my old meds (I actually think about going places, now), but my creativity is coming back. I've done a huge amount of work on the novel since starting this new pill, not only finishing Part 1 of Chapter 9 but also Part 3 and revisions on the completed chapter and getting started on Chapter 10! It's incredibly satisfying having so much momentum.

Even my diet is going well! I'm retraining myself to not eat so bloody much or so bloody fast, and I've been going to the gym here at work and the other gym (the one I actually pay for, thirty bucks a month whether I go or not) fairly regularly; and I've lost seven pounds of total weight and about an inch off my waist already! I'm really jazzed about it, and am looking forward to keeping this up until I'm back to 200 pounds and a thirty-four waist! That'll be a real accomplishment.

The only downside of life right now is my money issues. I've been spending the most grievous sums on my Halloween costume, the total is up to $700 as of last night when the bidding got out of hand and I ended up spending almost a hundred dollars on a pair of Italian riding boots that will complete my costume better than the costumey boots I already bought (which were almost seventy dollars themselves). And though my costume is going to be fantastic, I can't help but think of a lot of more important things I could have spent all that money on... like paying back Grandmother some of what I owe her, or paying off a larger chunk of my credit-cards, or getting the mirror on my car fixed, or even buying myself a fully assembled dollhouse. There's a lot you can do with seven hundred dollars.

I think I'm going to have to be stern with myself and stay the hell off of eBay from now on. Especially with this pay cut to consider. Maybe I should spend that time on the novel instead. But unfortunately, eBay is always there and Inspiration isn't so much. Dommage.

Well, here's to a lovely day for you and for me. Cheers!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Not Quite the Biggest Loser

So here I am trying to lose weight. I've joined a club here at work based on the TV show Biggest Loser... and though we don't do "challenges," nor do we have public weigh-ins where we are judged and humiliated by pseudo-celebs, we do have teams, and we have weekly lunchtime get-togethers for support and discussion.

The first week, I did exercise... I started a regimen of twenty minutes on the elliptical machine, followed by some light work at the weight machines, at lunchtime on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. But while I tried to stay away from sweets, I didn't really pay much attention to what I ate. And at the first weigh-in, I had gained three pounds!

I'm telling myself that was muscle weight, and it probably was. But we get "fined" a dollar a pound when we gain (there's a cash prize at the end, and fines go into the prize pot), and I was very irked to have to cough up three bucks when I wasn't expecting to.

This week I have combined the exercise with the dread practice of Counting Calories. This has been something of an educational experience, as I've never really thought about how many calories there are in the things I usually eat, especially as compared to the things that I can eat instead. For example, this morning I had the tiniest wee little miniature bearclaw pastry and a big handful of sliced melon... the latter was sixty calories while the former was two hundred and fifty. Yikes.

I was also surprised to discover that two slices of whole-grain toast with butter or margarine was two hundred and eighty calories, while a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and milk is only two-twenty and a whole hell of a lot bigger and more filling.

If I don't lose weight this week, I'm gonna be pissed! Especially since that bear-claw means that I have to either skip my afternoon tea snack, or else eat a very light dinner. Of course, a lot of the problem is being prepared with low-calorie snacks, and the only thing I have with me right now are Clif bars, which are 250 calories...healthy as all get-out, but that will leave a scant five hundred for dinner. So I think I'll just drink a lot of water instead.

But what I wouldn't give for a chocolate chip cookie... with one calorie.

In other news, my new mood stabilizer has an interesting side-effect: akathasia! It's fun to say and it's fun to have... the inability to sit still. It's a very mild case, and my doc thinks it will wear off, it usually does, and if it doesn't we'll try something else; but in the meantime, it does make exercising easier. I've been doing isometrics at my desk for the last couple of days, and I had this enormous energy-burst on Sunday morning that gave me the ability to rearrange my bedroom (which I've been wanting to do for a couple of weeks now).

Well, I'm going to get up and do some pushups against the Reception counter. Talk to you later!

PS ~ Friday, 8 p.m.: I weighed in this afternoon, and I lost three pounds. Yay me! And considering that I know I gained muscle-weight as well as losing fat, that means I lost quite a bit more than just the three pounds; my pants fit again, and the pads of fat under my arms are visibly diminishing.

God, I love this akathasia! The calorie-counting I could live without, but the strange desire to exercise is da bomb!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Baby's First Birthday!

You might remember, last October, I bought two little baby turtles from an apple-doll old woman in Chinatown? Sure you do. Though one of them didn't survive six weeks with me, the other thrived. But anyway, judging by their size when I bought them, I figured they were a month old; and so this month is their birthday!

Claudius, the survivor, has been a surprisingly entertaining pet. He isn't cuddly, in fact he hides from me most of the time. He doesn't even like being held or played with. He's like a fish, but with a larger repetoire of movement and mood.

Anyway, in honor of his birthday, and the fact that I was cleaning his tank and so had to disturb him anyway, I took him outside for a little celebratory photo shoot.

Claudius is quite huge, now... according to my research, they grow about an inch a year, so I was under the impression that he should now be about two inches long; however, he is three and a half inches long (just the shell, not counting his neck or tail extended). The Red-Eared Slider (to which variety Claudius belongs) usually grows to be about five or six inches long on the shell, and live ten ten to twenty years. So if all goes well, he'll be with me for a while.

I didn't realize until quite recently that he moves pretty fast on land. Sliders are so called because they like to bask in the sun most of the time, but if any other animal happens by, they slide into the water post-haste; so one doesn't see them just walking around on land all that much. So I was surprised when Claudius finally got sick of being photographed and took off for the flowerbed at a rather alarming speed. I just caught him before he reached the asparagus fern, which I don't think he'd have liked much (it's prickly, you know).

So anyway, I'm very pleased that Claudius has lasted this long, and I look forward to another decade of his rather diffident company.

Now I want to see how long the crowntail betta I bought two weeks ago is going to live. I'd show you a picture of Mr. Fandango, a gorgeous creature of irridescent peacock blue with brilliant magenta fringe, but he's at the office... he lives on my desk and everyone in the office is enchanted by him.

And speaking of enchanting...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, Fiddlesticks!

OK, so I finally heard back about the job I wanted here at my company. Unfortunately, what I heard was that I didn't get the job.

On the plus side, though, nobody got the job. After the process of interviewing a whole lot of people, the principals of the department had such a hard time agreeing on the qualities and qualifications they wanted in an Administrative Assistant that it eventually occurred to them that they didn't need an Administrative Assistant, they needed an Operations Analyst. Which I am not. Not even close.

Another plus is that I was told by the HR Director that, before the job changed, I was the top candidate; so I wasn't to think it had anything to do with me, it was all about the department and its changing needs. So that was a load off.

Another load off is that she told me everyone here loves me and they are very interested in keeping me around; she didn't say so, but she implied that they'd rather create a position for me rather than see me go. They are very happy with my performance at the Reception Desk, and the Hospitalist Manager I work with the rest of the day is also very happy with me, so I'll be able to stay in my interim position pretty much indefinitely, which is certainly what my finances wanted to hear. Heck, if that division can budget out a department assistant, I think I'd be a shoo-in.

So I didn't get what I wanted, but I do want what I got, so I guess it evens out.

So elated am I (and so lacking in anything to do here at the Reception Desk... the regular receptionist is on vacation for the next three weeks, so I'm stuck up here all day) that I was finally finally able to finish the first half of Chapter 9!

I think it's pretty good, but I had a hell of a time getting Danny out of that hotel so that I could have him at home for the next scene (which I also started writing quite some time ago). But what I think doesn't matter to me near as much as what you think, so please go give it a read and let me know your thoughts.

In other news, I've started a new mood-stabilizer (brand name Abilify) that my new doctor (who looks suspiciously like Christopher Guest) thinks might work better for me than those I've been on. It has the least number of side-effects, for one... so hopefully it won't be too hard to lose this weight, and maybe my demophobia will simmer down. And the best thing is, since it doesn't do the exact same thing as the Depakote I'm already on, I don't have to switch... I can take them both at the same time! That in and of itself is a recommendation.

Well, that's all I have to say just now. Here's your serving of pretty, and I'll holla atcha laytah!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Depression + Insecurity = Dollhouse Obsession ?

I've always been fascinated by dollhouses, as you might remember from this post not so long ago; but my fascination seems only to turn to obsession when I'm unhappy (as I was when I wrote that post and was on another dollhouse obsession).

And now here I am, my meds going a little flooey again, my employment shakey (I still haven't heard back from the job I applied for, yea or nay, and am on tenterhooks... which aren't very comfortable, ask any dead cow), and my general outlook just a little unhappy... and I've gotten sucked into the world of dollhouses on eBay again.

I'm particularly obsessed, just now, with dollhouse kits, and the pleasure of assembling one... one of the larger and more complicated varieties, of course. My first choice for such a venture is the Greenleaf Garfield kit:

My second choice, also from Greenleaf, is the Beacon Hill:

But after a few moments (or hours) of fantasizing about putting these ginormous and complex objects together, I remember that I totally suck at that sort of thing. And so I think maybe I should start smaller on these kits, or at least simpler... something like a nice Federal saltbox with no gingerbread, such as the Willow from Corona Concepts (which is a division of Greenleaf; there are only a few major dollhouse manufacturers, of which Real Good Toys, Greenleaf, and Dura-Craft are the top three, in order of highest prices):

Of course, what I'd prefer is to have one pre-made, but those things cost like you wouldn't believe. The kits are expensive enough (about $300 for the Garfield down to about $100 for the Willow), and don't even come with glue and paint; the assembled and painted versions cost two or three times as much, with absolutely crippling freight charges.

The worst is that I totally cannot afford this right now. I just spent over $700 getting my car registration taken care of (I put it off for a whole year, so had to pay twice the usual rate, and had a bunch of parking tickets on it as well), and yesterday got dinged another $450 because something went astray in the engine (the PCV hose and valve, whatever they might be).

Plus, before I got locked into this dollhouse obsession, I've been working on assembling this year's Halloween costume. I can't decide if I'm going to be a pirate or a vampire, or maybe a vampirical pirate, but I'm going for a very Gothic/eighteenth-century look that incorporates a few pieces from last year's costume (in which I looked haaaaawt!) The purchases for that folly have so far included a $200 brocade coat (totally not worth that much, but it seemed the better buy at the time...the other period coats I found were upward of $275), a $60 flying dragon sword, and another $60 for a custom made shirt... so far I've spent more sprucing up last year's costume than I spent on last year's costume itself!

Well, back to topic: I have been placating myself with small dollhouse purchases, furniture kits and whatnot to practice on, and keeping a passive eye on the larger house auctions. Hopefully, if I take my time and don't let myself get too hasty about bidding, as I did on the Marx dollhouses last year, I might actually come up with a bargain or two.

Though I also have to remember that I never touch my Marx dollhouses anymore. They've been down in the basement since last July and are just sort of in the way, now. I don't even have any kids around of an age to play with them (too sharp for toddlers, too dull for teens), or I'd consider giving them away.

On the other hand, scale miniatures are a different battle from vintage toys. There is absolute endless variety. People work on single dollhouses for their whole lifetimes. And as hobbies go, after the initial "real estate" expense, it's not a terribly costly pastime... certainly not as costly as my Suzanne Somers jewelry fetish.

Well, anyways, I'd better get on with my day. Speaking of basements, I have a lot of stuff in the hallway that needs to be hauled downstairs, and I think that while I'm down there I'll take a stab at organizing my drag room. Now that I'm in almost-complete-but-still-nominally-semi-retirement from drag (the occasional Court appearance, and the upcoming Fall Follies, are all I intend to do until I can get back into a sixteen), I need to get that whole area tidied up so I can find things when I need them but so that they're not taking up so damned much space.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Did I Really Say That?

I swear, sometimes I think I must be the world's worst interviewee.

On Friday I had my second interview for the transfer position I want in my company, Admin Assistant to the Practice Management Consultants. Only three PMCs came to the interview, and since these are all people I know, I didn't feel nervous or angsty or anything... I was a little tense, I mean I want this job so bad I can't stand it, but I was generally relaxed and myself. And I'm wondering if being myself is a good thing.

For example, when we got around to the "what are your long-term goals" cliche, I cracked a joke. First I answered with the truth (was that wise?) that I simply don't plan that far ahead... in fact if you told the ten-years-ago me that I would be working where I am and loving it, I would have laughed at you. Ten years ago I thought I was going to be a teacher (and looking back, knowing what I do now about the teaching professions, having worked in a community college teachers' union and a public school district's HR office, I'm glad I'm not). My only long-term career goal is to find one company I can stay with until I retire, and I'd like for that company to be this one.

But after I laid all that out, I threw in... "well, I do have one other long term goal... there's this couch at Restoration Hardware I want... I can't afford it and have nowhere to put it, but someday I will and it will be mine." And they all cracked up. Actually, when I was talking to the receptionist afterward (remember I work with her now in my interim position), she told me she'd never heard so much laughter in a panel interview... I had them in stitches the whole time.

Again I ask: Was that wise? I mean, a sense of humor is a great asset, especially in a service position; but one also has to be taken seriously. Will they think that someone who jokes so much will be capable of handling serious business?

Well, we'll just have to see. I'll be finding out about the job later this week, yea or nay, and I'm sitting on the very edge of my seat until then. The anxiety is killing me, I must say. But at least I have this fallback position... if I don't get the job I want, I'll still be employed... at least until mid-September; and they seem willing to keep me on as a floater after that, as well. We'll have to see what we'll see.

In the meantime, I'm tired. Anxiety really takes it out of me. So I haven't got any work done on the Magnum Opus. But I don't have any work to do today, and a new way of developing the rest of this section I'm stuck in has occurred to me, so I think I'll go over and do some scrivening for a while.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I really NEED this! I need it NOW!

Tell me, how am I supposed to live without a diamond-covered human skull? I ask you!

In case you were wondering what to get me for Christmas, Damian Hirst's "For the Love of God" is currently for sale at a measly little $100,000,000.00 (plus sales tax, one assumes). And aren't I worth it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Little Tidying-Up

Hey, Kids! OK, so I'm having some work drama these days, I'm changing positions in my company as things didn't work out with the compliance department; on top of that I've been dealing with some serious depression issues. And so I've been ignoring you. Well, not ignoring... I'm just too wrapped up in my own issues and emotions to pay any attention to you. Which amounts to the same thing.

On the other hand, I've had some spare time on my hands at work these days (I'm holding an interim position, covering for someone on indefinite sick-leave), so I've been working on the novel. Nothing to post yet, but I'm getting close to finishing Chapter 9. And today I had a bit of idle moment, so I updated the links on this page so you get real pictures instead of those little red Xs.

Innywhoo, I hope to spend a little more time here in the near future, if only to give you some more pretty-pretty to look at.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hey! Where'd Everything Go?

You may be wondering what happened to all the decoration around here... did burglars come in the night and steal all the graphics?

No, it's much more mundane than that: I unfortunately forgot to renew my domain hosting services in a timely manner, and didn't notice until the domain was turned off. And since getting it turned back on would require calling Scotland at eight in the morning, I eventually decided to let just drop dead.

This blog will continue, however. I just have to reword the codes for the graphics... hell, maybe I'll just redesign the whole thing. I have a new domain host, and a new domain name ( and everything will be back up and running fairly soon.

In the meantime, since Blogger's image hosting works just fine, here's something to keep you amused:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Oh, Just Say Something, Already!

Hello, Possums! I've been away from this diary for a while... still finding my feet at work, coming home rather tired, and not much to talk about in my life. On the other hand, I have been working on the novel, so that's where much of my blogging energy goes. If you haven't already, go on over (there's a link just above here, it says "Novel in Progress"... go ahead and click on it, it won't hurt at all!) and have a gander.

I've run into a bit of a snag... I've introduced yet another completely ancillary character, and I can't decide whether or not I should even keep him. He came to me in a flash of inspiration, and I don't like to ignore inspirations, but I just don't see how he furthers the story. I've had to dump loved characters in the past when they didn't fit into the story, I may have to do that with him. Maybe I should do what I did with Kiki the jailhouse trannie, go ahead and publish that version and see what the readers think. If it stinks or doesn't fit or doesn't work, I'll rewrite it.

So anyhow, not much else to talk about. I've become all hermitty again, I've decided it's not the particular mood stabilizer that's doing it, just mood-stabilizers in general. And since I discovered that the one I'm on now, Lamictal, costs eighty cents a pill, and I have to take eight a day, I'm going to go back to the Depakote when this one runs out. My insurance covers it, but at a cost of five hundred some-odd a month, I don't think it's fair that they should have to. Especially since it's making me sleep funky. And I've only lost ten pounds. Phooey on Lamictal, sez I.

And how are you?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

See Robert Go To Work! Work, Robert, Work!

I know you've all been sitting on the very edges of your seats, waiting to see how my new job is going. Well, it's going great! And I just got a paycheck, a fat one, which makes everything nicer.

Anyway, since I'm a visual person and expect you're also a visual person, I have some visuals to let you know what my new job's like!

Here's the building in which I work. It's gorgeous! Well, I think it's gorgeous... I love the curve of it, the size of it, the bluey-greeny-ness of it. Count up nine floors, slide over to the far right, and that's where my department sits... the company takes up the whole floor, and we're about to take over the second floor as well.

Actually, I come at it from the other side, but I couldn't stand in the middle of a four-lane thoroughfare to get a picture, so I took it from the shoreline park beside the building (which is much prettier when the tide is in).

Here is a shot of the lobby of our building. Again, I come at it from the other side, since I park in the garage behind the building, but this is what visitors see (that glass balcony is the second floor that we're taking over; my boss hopes that our department gets moved down there, so in case of a fire we can get all the way outside without having to schlep down a lot of stairs):

Then I take the elevator up to my floor. I have to have a security badge to make the elevator work, and it's coded so that I can only press the button for my own floor... I can't get off anywhere else. It's a little irritating, particularly when the card-reader is being lazy, but it's kind of cool, too. Then I get off the elevator, and say "Hi" to the receptionst while picking up my department's mail; the tiny black dot just visible over the reception counter is the backup receptionist (the regular receptionist would be a gray dot, but she's on vacation); behind her is the Directors' boardroom. One always likes to be aware of when the Directors are there, because they get catered meals that we get to share.

Then I stop off at my desk, which I love! It's so comfortable, especially now that I've added a few homey touches to make it my own (sharp-eyed readers might recognize some tchotchkes from my old office at the union):

Sometimes, if I get bored with my own cube, I go look out the windows. We have spectactular views from every window on our floor, there are no taller buildings nearby to block us (and so I hope our department doesn't move down to the second floor, where the only view is of the trees blocking the windows).

The first window is the CFO's window, which I can see from my desk and which I look through quite frequently; the second window is in my department head's office, where I spend a lot of time:

And finally, here I am sitting in my cube (we call them "cubes" rather than cubicles... and they are roughly cubic, though not quite as tall as they are wide and long), posing for the New Hires feature in our internal newsletter:

So there's really not all that much left to tell. I'm still learning some of the details of my job, but I am fairly secure in knowing what I'm doing most of the time. I am still enjoying myself, still looking forward to getting to work in the morning, and not nearly as excited about getting off work as I was at previous situations.

In other news... well, there really isn't other news right now. And I have a headache (my allergies finally kicked in this week), so I'm going to cut this short. Have a beautiful day!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Alanis Morissette Rocks My World!

I was never a huge fan of the whining and weeping, though I have enjoyed some of her songs; and then there's the fact that she took Ryan Reynolds off the market, for which I'm not quite sure I can forgive her.

But then I found this video on YouTube, and my entire opinion of her has been revolutionized. To me, the greatest personality trait anybody can have is a sense of humor about him- or herself; and the following clip is not only a wonderful spoof of the song it covers, but a spoof on the usual dark gravity of Ms. Morissette's genre.

Not entirely safe for work, but by far the most brilliant thing I've seen in I-don't-know-how-long.

Could you just die?!

So anyway, the new job is going amazingly well... everybody is sooo nice, each and every one of them seems genuinely happy to be there, and the work isn't at all difficult but is complex enough to keep my interest, and the coffee machine (a Flavia system) is the coolest thing ever! I keep waiting for something bad to happen to balance out the unspeakable joy of my workday.

But I'm tired! All this exaltation takes it out of a girl!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hey! I Got It!

That job I applied for? The one I wanted more than any of the other ones I applied for? The one that pays really well and has fabulous benefits? The one in the gorgeous office tower with views all around? The one with the cute guys?

I got it! Yay me!

I start on Wednesday... I'll let you know more about it as the drama unfolds. In the meantime, I'm celebrating my ass off!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

God, I hate that question! And every person with whom I've interviewed this last week has asked me that. It's so cliche! And what really bugs me is that I don't have an answer. Shall I try to be funny? "Not looking for a job!" Shall I try to be ooey-gooey positive? "Doing something meaningful for the planet." Shall I be fantastic? "Cruising around the world on my three-hundred-foot-yacht while beautiful boys give me pedicures." Shall I be honest? "I have no idea... I just take it a day at a time."

So far I've always managed to come up with something useful on the fly, generally along the lines of "working in a challenging but stable environment in which my contributions are appreciated." That seems to push the correct button. Still, I wish they'd ask something original, like "what's your favorite movie?" or "when you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up?" or "if you were an ice-cream, what flavor would you be?"

As you may have surmised by now, I have recently become proactive in my job search. My temp agency is having a dry spell, and so I have all this spare time suddenly on my hands; and what better time to hunt up a job? So I updated my resume on Yahoo HotJobs, I started cruising Craigslist after my email and before my message board, and began doing online applications with every large corporation I could think of... Bank of America, Levi Strauss, Clorox, World Savings, everybody with a building I can see from a distance. I applied for twelve jobs just last week, and am now waiting for those applications to come to fruition (successful or not) before starting another round.

It feels great, being proactive. I hate starting it, but I always feel better once a project is underweigh. And so this week I have three interviews lined up, one under my belt from this morning, one tomorrow at three, and a long one on Thursday. Last week I had an interview with what turned out to be a staffing agency, and the ones I'm meeting on Tuesday and Thursday have already pre-interviewed me over the phone (hence the "where do you see yourself in five years" question being repeated), so the one this morning felt very comfortable, and I'm not nervous about the coming meetings at all.

Well, I did get a little nervous... or, to be more specific, I got very self-conscious about my visible age. I mean, administrative assistants are not supposed to be middle-aged men... middle aged women, maybe, but male assistants are always young, aren't they? So after worrying myself about this no-doubt-idiotic and possibly-untrue idea, I decided to give in to a temptation I've been fighting for quite some time, and I dyed my hair.

It actually looks pretty good, I think; I used a semipermanent dye with no peroxide or ammonia, so there won't be roots or color loss involved... it just darkened my brown and turned the silver to dark gold, and will wash out in about three weeks, at which time I can decide if I want to make a practice of this subterfuge or not. And I think I just might... I mean, it took a good five years off me, covering the gray.

I mean, does that look like Forty to you? With a sufficiency of eye-cream, I think I could pass for thirty-ish. Not that it matters, of course, but it does give me a sense of confidence all the same.

In the meantime (because you can't spend the entire day applying for jobs), I have been working on a couple of projects here... specifically trying to get further into the eighth chapter of Worst Luck. I've finally got the general outline worked out in my head, but I'm having a hard time forcing myself to focus on it. When I do focus, I get a good deal done, but there are always distractions that I allow to take precedence.

One of these distractions is a good distraction, though: I'm collaborating on a graphic novel with my friend Indigo. My part of the project so far has been to design the house in which most of the action will take place, so that we have a visual reference for the backgrounds. So I got this new 3D Home Design program and have been tweak-tweak-tweaking with it for a couple of months, designing houses all over the place and revising the graphic novel's house three different times... starting completely from scratch twice. But I've finished that phase of the project and am pleased as Punch. It's just gorgeous!

So all in all, I'm in a very good place... I'm doing creative things, I'm doing practical things, and I'm enjoying life a lot more than I probably have a right to. And a lot of that is, I think, due to my new meds.

My doctor switched me off of Depakote and put me on Lamictal instead, which will (when I get to the full dose) also take the place of the Prozac. I went through a bit of a white-knuckle period when I had to quit the Depakote for ten days before I started the Lamictal, and I'm running just the weensiest bit manic (the job-hunt and creative projects on the plus side, the impulse control problems on the minus) as I very slowly progress into the full dose of Lamictal, which takes three months: one pill for two weeks, two pills for two weeks, etc. up to five pills, after which I add one more pill every week until I'm at eight pills, at which time I get a new prescription for one full-strength pill; it takes a long time because if you put it into your system too fast, you can break out in a deadly rash characterized by great seeping sores around your eyes and mouth... pretty!

But on the plus side, my demophobia is waning... I've been going to Court functions lately, and enjoying them as I used to. I don't get the sudden urge to be elsewhere when I'm surrounded by people. And that's all to the good.

Well, my darlings, I'm going to switch over to the novel and see if I can get some work done tonight while I'm flying high on Jasmine Green Tea and a creative/manic spasm. Toodles!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Who or Whom?

Since it is well known that my most princess-and-the-pea pet peeve is the misuse of who/whom in English grammar, I though it might be a good idea to bless the masses with my knowledge on the matter. So for your enlightenment, and for my jangled nerves, here is the simple rule:

All you have to do is turn the sentence into a question, then answer the question. If the answer ends with a vowel (he/she/they... and yes, Y is sometimes a vowel), your question also ends with a vowel (who); if the answer ends in a consonant (him/her/them), so should your question (whom).

- With whom did you go to the opera? I went with him/her/them.
- Who invited you to the opera? He/she/they invited me.
And while we're at it, let's remember that prepositions do not go at the end of the sentence. You cannot say (without making me cringe, anyway) "Whom did you go to the opera with?" It is always "With Whom"! The preposition must go first!

Now, of course, in spoken English this isn't such a big deal; if you go around asking your friends "With whom did you go to the sock-hop?" you're going to sound like a snooty queen. But if you're on television, giving a speech, or writing... for God's sake keep those prepositions away from the ends of your sentences!

Oh, and by the way, continuing your sentence after putting the preposition at the end of the clause is plain old cheating. "I can't find anyone to go to the sock-hop with because I'm ugly" is still incorrect! On the other hand, you shouldn't say "I can't find anyone with whom to go to the sock-hop because I'm ugly" because it will sound stilted and silly. If you can't say it naturally, don't say it at all. Instead, you can say "I can't find anyone to go to the sock-hop with me because I'm ugly" or "I'm not going to the sock-hop because I'm too ugly to find a date." Either are correct.

So now you know. Go forth and sin no more, my children.

Friday, March 2, 2007

She's Baaaaack!

Okay, so after two or three months of complete silence on this blog/diary/whatever, I've decided to come back. I needed the break, I've been slogging away at this spot for five plus years, and I was tired of it. But I miss having the outlet. I mean, I still do a hell of a lot of writing over on JUB, and have a blog there as well; but it's just not the same, the audience is different and the kinds of things I can talk about are different.

So, anyway, here I am back. Mannersism is one of the things I've decided to work on in this New Year of the Pig (I've also rejoined the gym, see below, and have a couple of other artistic projects on the front burner, including my much-neglected novel). In the meantime, I've transferred some entries from my JUB blog to fill out this first page a little better and to catch you up on my doings. See you again soon!